Camel traders, Pushkar

Taj Mahal Express & Pushkar Camel Fair

Book this package
11 days  •  $2499 $2199
per person, double occupancy, including airfare*
$300 Early Bird Discount. Expires Aug. 10, 2017.*   All prices reflect savings.

Overview

Featuring Delhi, then Pushkar for the world's largest camel fair; plus the pink city of Jaipur, Agra & the Taj Mahal
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of 15-24 likeminded travelers escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
24 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Scheduled Dates; one open departure, Oct 30 - Nov 9, 2017
Price Includes
  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round-trip airfare from New York JFK including fuel surcharges and taxes and fess
  • Intra-India ground transportation
  • Accommodations in superior hotels and luxury tent with private bath
  • 13 meals: 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Comprehensive guided touring program including all entrance fees to places visited
  • Participation in the Pushkar Camel Fair
  • Special opportunity to meet an Indian family and enjoy High Tea together
  • Experienced, English-speaking tour director
Optional
  • Nepal post-tour optional extension
Highlights
  • Visit Delhi's famous Laxmi Narayan Temple
  • Experience the Pushkar Camel Fair
  • Explore the 'Pink City' of Jaipur
  • See the glorious Taj Mahal in Agra
  • Enjoy High Tea with an Indian Family
Departs New York Kennedy (JFK); other gateways on request (flight schedule)
Themes Festivals,  History & Culture
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking, and reaches high altitudes requiring that you be in good physical condition to fully enjoy the trip. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations and may have limited rest stops.
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Prepare for your trip Already booked? Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.


Taj Mahal Express & Pushkar Camel Fair itinerary

India, one of the world's hottest destinations for savvy travelers, entices all the senses with exotic sights, sounds, colors and fragrances. Temples, tradition and colorful festivals dominate the landscape. This special tour transports you to the famed Pushkar Camel Fair, a spectacle attracting thousands of people and lavishly bedecked camels on parade. Explore the "Golden Triangle" of India—from fascinating and exotic Delhi, to Agra and the Taj Mahal, the world's most famous and lovely monument, to Jaipur, the "pink city," full of lavish mansions and palaces.

At this price, you can't afford to miss the chance to see India for yourself!

Dates, Prices & Options

Departure Dates & Prices

Early Bird Discount: Save up to $300 per person if you book by Aug. 10, 2017!
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
Depart Return Price Book by
Aug 10
Mon Oct 30 2017 Thu Nov 9 2017 $2499 $2199 Available

Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates. Contact us about prices and availability. (details)

Options & Fees

Taj Mahal Express & Pushkar Camel Fair
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement +$799
Separately Paid Taxes & Fees
Delhi Airport UDF1 (paid separately) +$15
India Visa & Processing Fee2 (paid separately) +$80

1. Fee is imposed by Delhi airport authorities and is paid in Delhi in local currency. Rate is approximate and may vary as currency fluctutations occur.

2. Visas for India must be obtained prior to travel. Comprehensive visa instructions will be included in your confirmation packet.

Nepal Optional Extension1
Nepal Extension +$899
Nepal Visa Fee2 (paid separately) +$30
Rooming Selection
Double Occupancy included
Single Room Supplement +$399

1. The Nepal extension requires that your flights be confirmed separately by the airlines. Please note that it typically takes 3 to 5 business days to confirm your extension flights with the airline, and that we will notify you immediately upon confirmation of the flights. This extension also requires a minimum of 2 passengers to operate.

2. Obtained upon arrival in Nepal.

Flights & Departure Cities

Departure Airports
New York Kennedy (JFK)1 included

1. Other U.S. Gateways on Emirates: Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Orlando (MCO), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Washington D.C. Dulles (IAD).

This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.

Coming from somewhere else? Ask us about availability and prices for flights from other cities (details).

How to Make a Reservation

To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765. But first, check out our Before You Book section.

We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable (details). The balance is due 75 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 75 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.

Deposit
Deposit $1000

Itinerary

Notice Notice: The Taj Mahal is currently undergoing renovations. Some scaffolding has been erected on sections of the building and some of its surrounding spires. Renovations are expected to be completed in Fall of 2018.

Day 1: Depart USA

  • Your exotic journey to India begins today as you depart the USA

Day 2: Arrive Delhi

Accommodations: 2 nights Shangri-La Eros Hotel, Delhi.

  • Upon arrival, our representatives will assist you with passport and customs formalities and escort you to your hotel

Day 3: Old & New Delhi

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Full day sightseeing tour of Old and New Delhi
  • Ride by bicycle rickshaw to Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque

Laxmi Narayan TempleFull Day Itinerary: After buffet breakfast at the hotel, board your coach to explore Old and New Delhi. Sprawling on the banks of the river Yamuna, bustling Delhi typifies the soul of India, where many layers of civilizations have flourished for more than 3,000 years. Begin at the modern Laxmi Narayan Temple, built in honor of the Hindu goddess of wealth, Laxmi, and of her consort, Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu Trinity. Popularly known as the Birla Temple for the noted industrialist family which built it, Laxmi Naryan Temple was one of the first major Hindu places of worship open to the lower caste Harijans (untouchables).

Rickshaw driver, old DelhiContinue to Raj Ghat, the memorial to Gandhi, built at the site of his cremation on the banks of the Yamuna River. Drive past the magnificent Red Fort, built in 1648 as a symbol of Mughal's power.

Later, ride by bicycle rickshaw to Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque. Completed in 1656 after six years of work by 5,000 laborers, the red sandstone and marble mosque is considered one of the loveliest houses of worship in the world.

Qutab Minar & ruins, DelhiNext, you'll marvel at the Qutab Minar, the world's tallest free standing minaret at 72.5 m (238 ft), and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you'll also find the Iron Pillar, a curiosity thought to date from 5th century A.D., which has never rusted.

Sightseeing continues in New Delhi, which reflects the legacy the British left behind. You'll see the India Gate, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The 42 meter high structure is a war memorial for the Indian soldiers who died in World War I and the Afghan Wars. Burning in a shrine under the arch is the Amar Jawan Jyoti (the flame of the immortal warrior), which marks the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Proceed to the Parliament building and the Rastrapathi Bhawan, the President's residence.

Day 4: Delhi, Ajmer & Pushkar

Accommodations: 2 nights AWX Luxury Camp. Pushkar. Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • After breakfast, transfer to the railway station to board the Shatabi train to Ajmer in Rajasthan
  • Upon arrival transfer to the luxury campsite in Pushkar, in time for a welcome reception
  • In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of the bustling town of Pushkar
  • Return to the camp, and enjoy a cultural program of local traditional music, song and dance

PushkarFull Day Itinerary: After an early morning buffet at the hotel, transfer to the New Delhi Railway station to board the Shatabi train to Ajmer in Rajasthan. From there, a motor coach will take you to the luxury campsite in Pushkar, arriving in time for a welcome reception.

Each November during the Kartik Purmina full moon, The Pushkar Fair is a spectacle of color, tradition and theater. Spend two days experiencing this extraordinary carnival of camel trading and religious tradition. Marvel at lavishly bedecked camels on parade and myriad bazaars selling everything from saddles to silver to adorn both humans and camels.

Pushkar LakeIn the late afternoon, walk through the bustling town of Pushkar, a small, provincial town that swells to 200,000 people during the Pushkar Fair. Uniquely located on the edge of a desert but surrounded on three sides by verdant forest. Visit the famous Brahma Temple, the only one in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma, creator of the universe and all beings, according to Hindu teaching. Climb the marble steps up the high platform and enter the marvelously ornate interior of carved marble, silver doors, and colorful peacocks, the vehicle of Lord Brahma’s consort Saraswati.

Evening brings a visit to the holy Pushkar Lake, surrounded by more than 500 Hindu temples and 52 bathing ghats, where pilgrims throng. Hindu tradition holds that a dip in this lake, on Kartika Purnima, the New Moon Festival when the Pushkar Fair is typically held, cleanses the bather of sins and can even cure illness.
Return to the camp, and enjoy a cultural program of local traditional music, song and dance. All meals are provided at the camp, and all food served is strictly vegetarian.

Day 5: Pushkar

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

  • Enjoy a full day to immerse yourself in the Pushkar Camel Fair

Pushkar Camel FairFull Day Itinerary: After a traditional breakfast, you’ll have another day to immerse yourself in the Pushkar Camel Fair. Competitions are constantly running: best-bedecked camel parade, longest moustache, most number of people of who can sit on a camel, musical chairs and much more! After lunch at the camp, visit the colorful and bustling bazaar. Numerous makeshift stalls sell adornment for both cattle and humans, from saddles to silver beads and ornate garments. After dinner entertainment is another fascinating cultural program.

Day 6: Pushkar & Jaipur

Accommodations: 2 nights Trident Jaipur. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • After breakfast, travel to Jaipur and check into your hotel
  • The balance of the day is at your leisure to rest or explore

Full Day Itinerary: After breakfast, we’ll travel through the most colorful region of India, Rajasthan, a land endowed with invincible forts, magnificent palaces, waves of sand dunes and serene lakes. Arrive in the “pink city” of Jaipur and check into your hotel.

Spice merchant, JaipurJaipur is India's first and perhaps best-planned city, full of beauty and color, serene lakes and wide tree-lined streets. Surrounded by rugged hills topped with forts, magnificent palaces and gardens dot the countryside, all witness to royal processions and splendor in days gone by. Except for the busy traffic of bicycles, cars and buses, little seems to have changed since 1727, when Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II designed and built the city.
The balance of the day is at your leisure to rest or explore. We recommend a stroll through the streets and bazaars, taking in the aromas of spices and displays of women's dresses and men’s turbans. Buy spices or barter for one of the beautiful, hand-woven wool carpets for which Jaipur is known. Jaipur is famous for silver jewelry, semi-precious stones, bangles and handicrafts. Ladies can have their hands painted with henna from roadside mehndiwala (henna painters).

Day 7: Jaipur

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • The morning's tour takes you to the imposing Amber Fort, ancient capital of Rajasthan
  • En-route to the Amber Fort, stop and see the Hawa Mahal, the "Palace of Winds"
  • In the afternoon, tour the city of Jaipur, including the City Palace

Amber Fort, JaipurFull Day Itinerary: After breakfast, the morning's tour takes you to the imposing Amber Fort, ancient capital of Rajasthan. Begun in the 17th century by Maharaja Mansingh, Emperor Akbar's most successful general, the fort is perched atop the Aravalli hills overlooking the Moat Lake. The fort's fortified battlements and crenellated walls spread over many acres.

Ascend to the fortress by jeep to view the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls, many of them hung with magnificent paintings and inlaid with precious stones. In the Sheesh Mahal—Hall of Mirrors—a single lamp reflects in a mosaic of thousands of mirror tiles, lighting the entire room.

En-route to the Amber Fort, stop and see the Hawa Mahal, the "Palace of Winds." Its beehive-like structure is an interplay of red and pink sand stone, painstakingly outlined with white borders and motifs. Behind this elaborate latticed facade, the cloistered ladies of the court could watch the daily goings-on in the street below.

Chandra Mahal, part of the City palace, JaipurIn the afternoon, tour the city of Jaipur, including the City Palace, an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens, courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways, View the rare manuscripts, armory, and miniature paintings at the palace museum.

Walk to the adjacent Jantar Mantar, the largest of five observatories founded by classical astronomer Sawai Jai Singh II nearly three centuries ago. Fourteen massive and extraordinarily precise masonry instruments were used for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars' location, and ascertaining the declinations of planets.

Day 8: Jaipur, Abhaneri Village & Agra

Accommodations: 2 nights Trident Agra, Courtyard Marriott Agra or similar. Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.

  • Visit Abhaneri Village and see the Chand Baori stepwell
  • Continue to ancient Agra, once the capital of a sprawling Mughal kingdom
  • Check into your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure

Full Day Itinerary: After breakfast, depart for Abhaneri Village, a popular stop along the Agra-Jaipur road for the impressive Chand Baori stepwell and the Harshat Mata Temple. The Chand Baori is perhaps the region’s most visited stepwell and is one of the largest and deepest in all of India. These stepwells were created to harvest rain water and also provided the locals a place to cool off during the hottest summer months as the temperature is a few degrees cooler at the bottom of the well than at its surface. After some exploration, continue to the Umaid Lake Resort for an included lunch.

We’ll continue to ancient Agra, once the capital of a sprawling Mughal kingdom covering much of Southeast Asia. Check-in at your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 9: Agra

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Rise early for a surreal sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal
  • After breakfast, visit the splendid Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • In the afternoon, you may visit the local marble and leather markets
  • This evening, enjoy High Tea, a special treat arranged exclusively for Friendly Planet

Taj MahalFull Day Itinerary: Rise early for a surreal sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal, one of the true wonders of the world. Built in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as an expression of his love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj took 22 years and 20,000 men to build. The white marble was quarried 200 miles away and transported to the site by a fleet of 1,000 elephants. Though the Taj is known for its stunning symmetry and balance, it is the close-up marble inlay work that is truly astounding. You'll have ample time to explore this outstanding piece of architecture, and to wander the pristine gardens that surround it.

Amber Fort, JaipurAfter breakfast, visit the splendid Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built by and inhabited by six successive generations of Mughal emperors—Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. Though often eclipsed by the Taj Mahal, this sprawling fortress, or more accurately a massive walled palatial city, is magnificent in its own right. It was here that Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb, and from the Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony, Jahan watched the continuing construction of his Taj Mahal until his death.

In the afternoon, you may visit the local marble and leather markets such as the Petra Dura Workshop, world renowned for its marble inlay tradition.

This evening, you are a guest for High Tea. This special treat, arranged exclusively for Friendly Planet's India travelers, provides an opportunity to meet and interact with an Indian family and get an insider’s glimpse into life in India.

Day 10: Agra & Depart Delhi

Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • After breakfast, return to Delhi via motor-coach
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner, then board your return flight home
  • Passengers taking the optional Nepal extension will overnight in New Delhi; see extension itinerary below

Day 11: Arrive USA

  • Your memorable journey ends today when you arrive in the USA

 

Nepal Extension

Take advantage of your already included airfare and add an optional extension to mysterious Nepal. The Nepal Extension includes 1 night in Delhi, round trip flights from Delhi to Kathmandu, 3 nights in Kathmandu with a full touring program including a special visit to the Bamboo School, transfers, buffet breakfast daily and a farewell dinner and performance. Passengers taking the Nepal Extension will return to the U.S. 4 days later than the return dates shown.

Day 11: Delhi & Kathmandu, Nepal

Accommodations: 3 nights Hyatt Regency Kathmandu. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to the airport to take a short flight to Kathmandu, Nepal
  • You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel
  • Welcome drink will be served on arrival at your hotel
  • Later, visit Boudhanath, one of the world’s largest stupas

Kathmandu at sunsetFull Day Itinerary: Transfer to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu. Having cleared immigration, collect your luggage and pass through customs. Upon exiting the terminal you will be met and transferred to your hotel and a welcome drink will be served upon arrival. After check-in, take a walk with your guide to Boudhanath which is possibly the world's largest Buddhist stupa. Around the stupa a number of monasteries have sprung up including one that houses an enormous seated statue of Maitreya Buddha splendidly adorned.

Day 12: Kathmandu, Patan City & Swoyambhunath

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Optional morning flight over Mt. Everest
  • After breakfast, travel to Patan City south of Kathmandu
  • In the afternoon, visit the National Museum and Swoyambhunath, the ‘monkey temple’

Golden Temple, PatanFull Day Itinerary: This morning you will have an opportunity to experience an optional early morning scenic flight over Mt. Everest and the breathtaking Himalayas. After breakfast, visit Patan City located just south of Kathmandu in the Kathmandu Valley. The official name of the city is Lalitpur, meaning city of fine art. Walk from Kumaripati through the narrow streets, curios shops and bazaars. On the way, visit the Golden Temple and then go to Patan Durbar Square where you will see the sky piercing temple of Taleju.

SwoyambhunathIn the afternoon, drive to Swoyambhunath. En route, make a stop at the National Museum to see a splendid collection of weapons and artifacts from ancient, medieval and modern Nepal. Continue to Swoyambhunath, also known as the "Monkey Temple" which is said to be over 2,000 years old and one of the world's most fabulous Buddhist temples. Situated on top of a high hill where legendary Manjushri discovered the lotus growing in the ancient Kathmandu Valley Lake, Swoyambhunath commands a superb view of the valley below.

Mt. EverestOptional Excursion: Mt. Everest Flyover, $199 (purchased locally). Early this morning you will have an opportunity to experience an optional Mt. Everest scenic flight over the breathtaking Himalayas, weather permitting. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.

Day 13: Kathmandu, Bamboo School & Bhaktapur

Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Enjoy a special morning visit to the Bamboo School in Bhaktapur
  • You will be welcomed by the children with a musical performance
  • Continue to Bhaktapur Durbar Square for sightseeing
  • This afternoon visit Kathmandu Durbar Square at the heart of the old city
  • In the evening, enjoy a Nepalese farewell dinner and performance

Nepalese girlFull Day Itinerary: In the morning, drive to the Bamboo School in Bhaktapur. The Bamboo School provides local children with a low cost, quality education made possible by donations from various organizations including Friendly Planet Travel. This school is constructed by using bamboo which is inexpensive, strong, earthquake-resistant and easy to find. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by the children with a musical performance of the school’s anthem. Time permitting, a group of students will also perform a traditional Nepali song and dance. After spending some time with students and teachers, drive to Bhaktapur Durbar Square, located in the center of Bhaktapur. The square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the valley and is home to some of the finest medieval arts of Nepal. Here you’ll see the Lion Gate, the Golden Gate, Nyatapola Temple and statues of the kings of Nepal.

Saddhus, Kathmandu Durbar SquareIn the afternoon, drive back to Kathmandu and visit Kathmandu Durbar Square, located in the heart of the old city. Visit Kumari temple, Taleju temple, Shiv Parvati temple, and Kal Bhairav. On a walk through a local bazaar, you will discover the true heart of Kathmandu in the sights, sounds and smells. This evening, join your fellow travelers for Nepalese farewell dinner and dance performance.

Day 14: Kathmandu & Depart Delhi

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Enjoy the morning at leisure in Kathmandu to shop and explore independently
  • Transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi
  • Bid farewell to India & Nepal as you board your overnight return flight to the USA

Day 15: Arrive USA

  • Your memorable journey ends today when you arrive in the USA

Reviews

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I just returned from the India and Nepal trip and wanted to let you know what a great experience it was to have the tour guides Friendly Planet choose on both legs of our trip. Madan Vishwakarma, our guide in India made my trip so much more interesting with his vast knowledge of India. It went far beyond what is typically required of any tour guide. In Nepal, Probeen Shrestha provided incredible detail into the life of the Nepalese. The trip was truly an incredible experience.

John Schwab, West Hollywood, CA

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